We just wrapped up our study of the Civil War and the Underground Railroad in Indiana. As a wrap up activity, the students worked on some song parodies. They chose a song that they knew well, and changed the words to the song, giving facts and information about either the Civil War or the Underground Railroad in their rewritten lyrics. Here are the final productions, written, performed, and recorded by the students in 4R!! 🙂
Just before Spring Break, we wrapped up our study of the Underground Railroad and the Civil War. This is definitely one of my favorite units to teach, and I think the students learned a bunch, and maybe even had some fun, too!!
The first day of our study, students entered the room to find the desks divided onto two sides. There was a line down the middle dividing the sides, and there were pictures of states on each student’s desk. We soon learned why certain states were on certain sides of the line, which states were the “trouble makers”, and how the Civil War often divided friends and family.
While studying the Underground Railroad, we read a book called “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” It told of how runaway slaves were able to escape to Canada by following the North Star. They were able to find the North Star in the sky by using the Big Dipper, also known as “The Drinking Gourd.” They also used songs to learn directions they needed to follow. We also learned that some directions were taught through different designs on quilt squares, passed down through families. We created our own Freedom Quilt, and our squares had both patterns and pictures depicting the things we learned about the Underground Railroad.
We also studied the Underground Railroad a bit more in depth by using http://www.mission-us.org, an amazing site where you are a runaway slave, and you have to make certain decisions as you try to escape from slavery and reach Canada. (You can play this at home by clicking the “Register” button at the top and creating a name!)
When we had finished our unit in the book and were preparing for our unit test, we broke into teams for a Jeopardy review game. Naturally, it was the Union vs. the Confederacy.
As a unit wrap-up activity, we explored what it would have been like if the people we learned about had used texting back in the 1860s. Students chose one or two people we studied and came up with a fake text conversation between them. Then, using http://www.iphonefaketext.com, we created a screenshot of the conversation. Everyone did a VERY creative job with these!!
We are wrapping up our study of the Underground Railroad and the Civil War with tomorrow’s unit test. It’s one of my favorite units to teach as there are so many cool projects and activities that go along with it.
First, we split the room in half: North/Union and South/Confederacy.
Each student was assigned a different state. Some we will never forget. For example, Samuel was the first state to secede from the Union (South Carolina), Justin and Elly can’t make up their mind (Missouri), and so on. 🙂
We read the story behind the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” which led thousands of slaves to freedom. After reading the story, we made a Freedom Quilt. Each quilt square was designed by our students, and had something to do with either the Underground Railroad or the Civil War. It turned out really neat, and tells a story about the things we had been learning about.
Our last event of our unit was our review game for the test. In true Civil War fashion, the teams were the Union…
…vs. the Confederacy:
(In case you were curious, the review game ended in a tie.)
Such an exciting unit, and I’m sad to see it end. I guess this means we’ll have to move on to more exciting things after Spring Break! 🙂